*WINNER* Examination of a Bottle Bill in Tennessee
Pollution is a major component to the degradation of our planet’s biosphere, and effective recycling policies may be needed to halt the process. Some areas in the United States, such as California and New York, have implemented a “bottle bill”, or a piece of legislation that incentivizes the recycling of certain beverage containers by providing monetary resources to consumers who participate. In the state of Tennessee, a similar bill has attempted ratification in recent years, but to no avail. The effects of such legislation in states that have adopted “bottle bill” regulations have been investigated when questioning whether to implement such laws in Tennessee. California, a state with active bottle bill programs, Delaware, a state with a recently decommissioned bottle bill program, and Tennessee, a state with no bottle bill, will be studied to determine the effects such legislation has on the amount of waste collected. The results were clear; in areas that incentivized recycling through monetary gain, more physical waste was collected. However, it is important to recognize that such legislation is not the final solution; it must be supplemented by further recycling initiatives.